Are the motherboards different?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by shouldibuyamac, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. shouldibuyamac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    #1
    Hello All,

    I am going to buy my first Mac...the MacPro.

    I am considering downgrading the standard configuration to only one 2.8GHZ Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor. I really have no use for 8-cores right now.

    My questions is: Do they put a differently configured motherboard in when you order it with only one processor, or is it the same board? Is there still room for two processors, or does the board only support one? Will I still have the option to go somewhere else and buy a second processor when they are cheaper than the $500 that Apple wants?

    I have been building and upgrading my own PCs for the better part of 15 years. So I am familiar with all of that and I know it will void the warranty, or be difficult, etc.

    I just need to know if it is the same board and if I will be able to put in my own 2nd CPU one day if I so choose.

    I apologize if this has been covered somewhere before in another posts, but my searches did not return anything that answered this.

    Best Regards!
     
  2. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #2
    I once did some searching on this and while I can't say 100%, I got the impression that the lobo would be upgradable with an empty slot. I'm not sure if there's a definitive answer yet, since at the moment (I think) it's cheaper to get the second proc from Apple, but you'd think somebody's tried it.
     
  3. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #3
    For the dozenth thread, yes.
     
  4. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    The Mac Pro uses the same motherboard whether it has two CPUs or one. If you order it with one, the second one just has a plastic cover to protect the socket.

    However, considering what just the Apple heatsinks are going for on eBay, it is likely far cheaper to pay the extra $500 and get the second CPU installed at the factory. It will help future re-sale value and Apple and software designers are bringing forward technologies that leverage those extra cores.
     
  5. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #5
    Why couldn't you just use a 3rd-party Socket 771 cooler?
     
  6. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #6
    Possibly not as efficient and may not fit the case.
     
  7. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #7
    I would like to know that there's NO alternative. One always has to look at the efficiency and size of coolers for any DIY PC after all.
     
  8. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #8
    It wouldn't fit next to the stock one. And yes, the motherboard is the same. However, you can't buy those chips as cheap as apple is selling them. If you want a dual cpu one, you might as well get it now. But the quad is pretty damn wicked - you might not even need an 8 core system.

    I think there needs to be a stick post about this stuff. Its getting out of control.
     
  9. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #9
    But what about removing that and putting in 2 3rd party coolers?
     
  10. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    The Mac Pro coolers are designed to work with the Mac Pro's case ventilation system and case design. Third-party units either may not fit, or may not be as effective at dissipating heat. They may also affect the rest of the case's cooling.

    Also, many of the Socket 771 coolers are designed for rack-mount server Xeon 5400's which run at much lower clock speeds (due to the short 1U/2U cases) and would likely be unable to adequately cool the higher-speed units in the Mac Pro.

    And by going to third-party coolers you just invalidated your warranty. I'd rather not risk $3000+ in product to save $300 (considering two high-quality third party coolers would run $200 and the second CPU from Apple is $500).
     
  11. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #11
    Agreed, but in the future as the clock speed falls behind the curve, that extra proc will really come in handy. From the sounds of it, Snow Leopard and beyond are going to make great leaps in parallel processing. The difference to this day between a dual 1gHz G4 and a single is quite amazing.
     

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